The Annual Red Chair Awards Announced Followed by Inspiring Keynote Speaker

24 November 2020

Association Headquarters, Inc. (AH), a leading association management firm located in Mount Laurel, NJ and Alexandria, VA, has pivoted its annual two-day Leadership Forum event to an eight-part virtual webinar series, with the first session kicking off on November 18, 2020. The first session featured a revamped 2020 Red Chair Awards program followed by keynote speaker Toni Pergolin, President & CEO of Bancroft.

The Red Chair Awards typically reflect client partner achievements from the year, aligning with AH’s four pillars of success: Multi-dimensional Growth, Intelligent Use of Technology, Engaged & Disciplined Leadership, and an Unwavering Commitment to Mission. Like many things in 2020, the Red Chair Awards shifted to more closely align with the times.

The categories for 2020 were: The Best Use of Foresight, The Best Response to COVID-19, and The Overall Best New Program or Initiative.

The Society For Biomaterials (SFB) won the award for Best Use of Foresight. SFB used the ASAE ForesightWorks Research Project to identify the most important drivers of change that would affect their society and industry. They used that research to come up with new initiatives and programs to benefit the membership as whole over the next year. AH client partner NADCA, The HVAC Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Association won for their submission in the category of Best Response to COVID-19. NADCA took the necessary steps to keep their members working by getting HVAC technicians deemed essential during the pandemic. The final winner, The Controlled Release Society (CRS) won for the best overall new program for their global inclusion and accessibility initiative. CRS created a means for scientists around the world to equally access a range of opportunities in education, mentorship, recognition, employment, leadership development, research sharing, and networking with global leaders in delivery science. As a result of the new programs and outreach, 246 new scientists from around the world engaged with the society and 223 joined the CRS.

“Each and every year I am blown away at the strides our client partners are making in bettering their industries, causes, and professions,” said Bob Waller, CAE, President & CEO of AH. “All of our client partners submit for the awards and it’s tough to come up with the winners with all of the wonderful things happening at AH.”

The Red Chair Awards are chosen by a third-party panel of judges who were able to review all of the submissions virtually this year.

Following the Red Chair Awards, Toni Pergolin, President & CEO of Bancroft, was the keynote speaker during session one of the Third Wednesday eSeries Powered by Leadership Forum. Toni spoke on her experience with bringing Bancroft from the edge of bankruptcy to doubling in size. Toni’s book, Too Important to Fail: Leadership Lessons for Nonprofits, examines the challenges and misconceptions of operating a nonprofit like a for-profit business, leading an organization out of disaster and the importance of philanthropy.

During her session, Toni shared a series of leadership lessons, including the board’s role during typical times as well as during a crisis, to ensure the organization’s success.

The next session, slated for December 16, 2020, will focus on what’s next for live meetings. The session will feature a panel of professional meeting planners, hoteliers, and experts in the future of association and nonprofit meetings. The series will continue once a month, on the third Wednesday of each month, until June 2021.

Read more content from past Leadership Forum events in AH's Innovation Series

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